Recently, I asked as the QotD: What product or service have you purchased/used lately that you'd like to recommend to other Shakers (or recommend against)?
Several people requested it become a regular feature, so here is the newest installment of "Shaker Thumbs," in which you've got the opportunity to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a product or service you'd recommend to other Shakers or warn them away from. [Previously: One, Two.]
My review today is of EyeBuyDirect.com. After I got my new specs, I wanted to get a second pair with the new prescription (as my old specs were a decade old and I've developed astigmatism in the interim), because I am genuinely nonfunctional without my glasses. Quite literally, I can barely get from room to room in my own home without them, no less read or work or cook or drive, so being without a back-up plan is not a good idea.
But my insurance pays for only one pair, which meant I needed to find a cheap alternative. So I requested my prescription from my eye doctor, and, after researching both meat-world franchises and online alternatives, I decided to go with EyeBuyDirect. And, if I'm honest, I was learning toward an online provider anyway, because I was hoping to be able to recommend an affordable alternative to Shakers lacking vision insurance.
So: I picked out my frames (Parsley, in clear/purple), which cost me $17.95, and entered my prescription for basic lenses, which were free. Because my prescription makes for super-thick lenses, I added the "Super Thin" option for an additional $42. (There is a cheaper "Thin and Lite" option for $25, and an "Ultra Thin" option for $67. And, to be clear, thinning is not required for strong prescriptions; I just prefer it.) I added an anti-reflective coating for $6.25 (anti-scratch is free). Shipping was $4.95, so I got the whole pair for $71.85—less than a third what my other new specs would have cost without insurance, not even including the eye exam.
About two weeks later, I got my new glasses, complete with free case and cleaning rag. And they're absolutely splendid. The frames certainly don't look like I paid only $18 for them. And if I didn't have such a strong prescription (and skipped the anti-reflective coating), I could have gotten the whole pair for less than $25.
I've been wearing my EyeBuyDirect frames for about a week now to give them a good test, and I couldn't be happier with them.
Granted, you need to know your prescription to make this work, but, if you do, it can save you a lot of money. And it may still be cheaper to buy online even if you pay for an exam, depending on the options available in your area.